Chapter 10Mature

Around 7:10, the sky had turned completely dark, the lessened light giving way to moonlight. Listening at the guest window for a second, Alex heard no one was around nearby and got to opening the window. His claws and pads made it harder to get a grip on the glass, but it soon slid open a crack, letting the colder evening air in. His fur still kept him warm like he had a full coat on, but with the window opened even the sliver that it was, his nostrils were again flooded with scents. But it wasn’t the skate shop all over again. It was more than that.

He could smell things that were so far away from him, it made him shiver. The bitterness of old sugar residue from the sugar factory several miles away. Cooking oil and ketchup from a drive in. Gasoline from several stations all around him. Two canines on his block, both seeming to be working breeds. Maple, cedar, oak and dozens of tree scents. All those among what felt like fifty others. If not more.

Stepping back to shake his head, Alex had to support himself until he was less disoriented. The window now seemed like a headache inducer instead of a way outside with how many scents had just swamped his head. Until he was comfortable taking breaths near the window, he left it the way it was, and then began to climb out.

Landing in the compacted dirt in front of the window, he started to slide it shut behind him but hesitated before going all the way. There was a spare key to the front door if he couldn’t get the window open again, but a giant werewolf walking into someone’s front door late at night would likely raise some questions. If anyone saw him.

It took him no time to find the spare key, some scents of rust amidst old paint and wood helping him do so. With the sliding glass door of his parent’s bedroom nearby, he thought of leaving that open instead for easier access, but the window was much more concealed. Far quieter as well, and now that he had used it to get out of the house, much more amusing. Leaving the key, he paced around the patio for a minute.

The wooden fence separating him from the front yard was just over seven feet high. There were no footsteps on the pavement nearby so the area was likely clear, but even so he headed for a small side cage near the garage. It was shielded on the other side by bushes so he could climb over it easily and keep himself hidden. Looking at the top of the fence, another thought came to him: Could he jump it? His legs had likely become far stronger from the shift.

The End

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